It takes about four hours by car to travel the 201 miles (324 km) between Amman and Wadi Rum. Going by car with a private driver is the fastest, most preferred mode of transport, and it's also a beautiful drive down Jordan's famous Desert Highway. This well-traveled freeway has plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat, gas, or souvenirs.
All visitors to the Wadi Rum wilderness area must first check-in and pay an entrance fee at the Visitor Center. It's also best to book your camp accommodations in the park ahead of time to avoid any issues. Whether you come by private transfer or taxi, your camp guides will take you the rest of the way into the desert in a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
If you opt for a bus, it will require more planning and time as there is no direct route from Amman. However, JETT tourist buses operate from a number of stations in the city and are worth taking for the comfortable amenities offered onboard. They will get you as close as Aqaba and Wadi Musa (Petra). From either of those locations, you'll have to switch to taxi or minibus to complete your journey.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 4-5 hours
The drive from Amman to Wadi Rum is beautiful, but it can take four to five hours depending on traffic. The roads are well-maintained, making a smooth ride for the most part. The Desert Highway takes you there directly but having a private car means you can travel at your own pace and visit other places if your itinerary allows for it. The ancient biblical sites of Mount Nebo and Madaba make for an interesting detour, as well as Karak Castle. Dana Biosphere Reserve is also worth including as a way to experience Jordan's natural wildlife.
If you plan to drive yourself, you can leave your car in a public parking lot in Wadi Rum Village. Alternatively, if you have a 4WD vehicle and want to explore and camp on your own, the Visitor Center can provide maps and information on the rules and regulations.
Duration: 4-5 hours
Though it's a long ride, taking a taxi is a convenient and reliable way to get to Wadi Rum. Consider hiring the taxi for a full day if you're interested in making scenic detours during your road trip. Also, be sure to arrange a meeting point or time with your camp guides so they'll know where to find you when you're dropped off.
Duration: 6-8 hours
You'll want to plan ahead if you decide to take public transport, especially if you have a limited amount of time. Amman has a variety of places to catch a JETT bus, but the downtown Abdali station is the main hub. The ticket for a tourist bus costs more than a public bus, but you'll get comfy seats, air-conditioning, and, sometimes, snacks and wifi. JETT's website has a list of schedules and pricing and you can also book your tickets in advance.
From the bus stations in Wadi Musa or Aqaba, a taxi or minibus will get you the rest of the way to Wadi Rum. Although the buses run frequently, they are not on a fixed schedule and do not typically run on Fridays.